South Korean AI startup Lunit scores $26M investment from Guardant Health

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AI startup Lunit from South Korea has bagged $26 million in a Series C Tranche B funding round. The investment came from Guardant Health, a Nasdaq-listed precision oncology firm.

WHAT IT DOES

Founded in 2013, Lunit develops AI software in the oncology space. Its solutions are designed to discover cancer and predict cancer treatment outcomes. 

One of its tech solutions, tissue analysis platform Lunit SCOPE, was found to have identified 50% more patients who would respond to immunotherapy, according to its presentation last month. 

The company also has the INSIGHT line of AI products for chest x-rays and mammograms that are being used in over 270 medical institutions. They are approved for use in Europe and 35 other countries. 

WHY IT MATTERS

Lunit did not specifically disclose where its latest investment will go to but it said it will “help reshape and innovate the precision oncology landscape”. Alongside the announcement, it reported that it will collaborate with an unnamed liquid biopsy company. 

THE LARGER TREND

Lunit last raised cash from the first tranche of its Series C funding round participated by Asian investors, including Shinhan Investment, InterVest, IMM Investment, Kakao Ventures and Lenovo Group’s Legend Capital. It secured $26 million in investments.

The AI startup has also revealed that it will continue its plan to file for an initial public offering at the Korean Stock Exchange “later this year”. It first announced its IPO plan in 2018, tapping NH Investment Bank to be its lead underwriter.

ON THE RECORD

“We are more than delighted to announce the investment and collaboration with Guardant Health. With our AI technology in tissue phenomics and Guardant Health’s commitment to advancing our work, we are looking forward to making impactful changes in cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Lunit CEO Dr Brandon Suh.

“We’re very impressed with Lunit’s approach and believe this investment will help them advance their important AI work for eventual clinical use. Through this investment, we also expect to utilise their AI platform to usher in new precision oncology products that contribute in a meaningful way to improving cancer care for patients,” Guardant Health CEO Helmy Eltoukhy also commented.

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